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Medal - Linnaean Tercentenary Medal
  • Linnaean Tercentenary Medal
    Powell, Felicity, born 1961
  • Enlarge image

Linnaean Tercentenary Medal

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    2007 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Powell, Felicity, born 1961 (designer)
    Fattorini, Thomas Ltd (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Struck bronze

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Glenn Benson

  • Museum number:

    A.2:1, 2-2009

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The design of one side of this medal is modelled on a drawing from the Swedish naturalist Carl Linneas' 'Systema Naturae', 1735, in which he outlined his system for classification of plants and animals. That on the other side is based on a drawing of 1732 by Linneas of the plant Andromeda glaucophylla, likened to the maiden Andromeda of Greek mythology who was chained to a rock before being rescued by the hero Perseus.

Physical description

Circular bronze medal and paper document.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


2007 (made)


Powell, Felicity, born 1961 (designer)
Fattorini, Thomas Ltd (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Struck bronze

Object history note

Commissioned by the Linnean Society of London from Felicity Powell to mark the tercentenary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus in 2007.

Historical significance: Linnaeus developed a system of description, naming and classification of all living things, plants and animals, with a binomial nomenclature, whereby each living thing has a genus and a species name.
In 1735, Linnaeus published Systema Naturae, his classification of plants based on their sexual parts followed by Fundamenta Botanica (1736) and Classes Plantarum (1738). Linnaeus likewise introduced a nomenclature for species for animals, in his Systema Naturae 10th edition, volume 1(1758).

The obverse of the medal presents Linnaeus' drawing of Andromeda from the expedition in Lapland he headed in 1732, and during which he discovered a hundred botanical species. The reverse is modelled on Ehret's original illustration for Linnaeus' Systema Naturae. It shows Linnaeus' system of using the flower and the arrangement of its sexual organs (stamens and pistils) to group plants into twenty-four classes. The twenty-four classes are arranged in a spiral, coming out of a profile of Linnaeus.

Given together with A.2:2-2009, by Glenn Benson.

Historical context note

The Linnaean Tercenary medal was produced in silver and bronze, in an edition of 300. The recipients of the Linnaean Tercentenary Silver Medal are selected for being "internationally recognised for their contribution to our understanding of the natural world, particularly at the higher, organisational levels" and "outstanding and effective popularisers, particularly of the broad concepts of evolution and the importance of biodiversity". The Linnaean Tercentenary Bronze Medal is given to Fellows of the Society in recognition for their assistance and work.

The Linnean Society of London was founded in 1788. It takes its name from the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), whose botanical and zoological collections and library have been in the Society's keeping since 1829.

Descriptive line

Medal, struck bronze, commemorating the Linnean Society tercentenary, by Felicity Powell, British, 2007

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)




Subjects depicted



Myths & Legends; Coins & Medals

Production Type

Limited edition


Sculpture Collection

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